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Chilli Powder

Chilli Powder
A Brief Introduction
Chilli powder, a powdered spice mix comprise of chilli peppers, either red peppers or cayenne peppers, has become the basic ingredient in majority of cuisine. It can be a mix of either pure powdered chillis, or it may contain other additives, like cumin, oregano, garlic powder and salt. Other spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mace, nutmeg, etc. are also used in preparing chilli powder. As a result of different ingredients, the spiciness of any given chilli powder is incredibly variable. As a rule, the purer the chilli powder is, the more spicy it is. Many people prefer home made chilli powder, but many versions are also available commercially.
Varieties of Chilli Powder
There are two famous varieties of the chilli powder used in worldwide cuisine, viz. The Mexican Chilli Powder and Indian Chilli Powder. The chilli powder used in India is completely different from the Mexican version of chilli powders.

*Mexican Chilli Powder
They are mixtures of spices such as dried grounded chilli, cumin, garlic, and oregano. This spice is used included in Mexican cuisine.

Indian Chilli Powder
Indian chilli powder is made by drying and grounding the red chilli to give highly pungent red powder. The pungency in the chilli powder depends on the variety of the chilli used in preparing the powder. The low oil content helps in retaining its red color which will not fade away with time.

Brief History
Though, there is some disagreement about the origin of manufactured chilli powder, but its first usage can be traced, at its earliest, to Indian cuisine, where it was widely used in curry dishes. Today chilli powder is immensely popular in American cuisine, where they are the primary flavor ingredient in chilli con carne.

Two men, William Gebhardt and D.C. Pendry were generally credited with marketing the first commercial chilli powder blends.  Gebhardt, a  German immigrant to Texas served chilli in his cafe which was his own blend of chilli powder. In 1894, he started selling this blend under the brand name Gebhardt’s Eagle Brand Chilli Powder. Whereas, D.C. Pendry, an owner of a Mexican grocery supply company, began manufacturing and marketing his unique blend of chilli powder in about 1890.

Uses of Chilli Powder
Chilli Powder, the  tasty blend of spices, is one of the easiest ways to bring a dish to life. This powder is used extensively as an additive in curries and other dishes. It is also used  as a rub for steak, fish and chicken before broiling, baking, or grilling. A yummy spicy hamburger is also prepared by including a tablespoon of the powder in the raw meat and kneading it into the meat before forming the hamburger patties. Either purchase ready-made or to prepare at home, chilli powder can add a lot of taste to many mouth watering dishes.

Medicinal Properties of Chilli Powder
Besides adding an extra kick to the food, these species of capsicum annuum are also used in ayurvedic medicines to fight many diseases. Chillies are an excellent source of vitamin, A, B, C and E with minerals like molybdenum, manganese, folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper. They contain seven times more Vitamin C than orange. They are helpful in clearing nasal congestion, relieves throat infection, and acts as painkiller in muscle spasms. Besides this, chilli powder also helps in destroying harmful toxins and stimulating  gastric juices that help in digesting food.